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Author: Alessandro Seren RossoDate: 10/23/2009
Evaluation: Maxim Trunev (Montreal Canadiens) (Montreal Canadiens)

2010 Kontinental Hockey League (KHL)

After a promising rookie season, Maxim Trunev (Montreal Canadiens) is having a good 09-10 campaign as well. We observed him in the match against Lokomotiv. Till the start he has been included in the lines rotations, playing in the third line, with relative success and with good, quality ice time.

Since the start of this game Maxim displayed a very good stickhandling quality showed last season already but what might be the most pleasant surprise was his physical play. Even if he's not a physical player he has bulked up during the off season, looking more comfortable along the boards. That being said, he still suffers against the most physical players, for example, Vitaly Vishnevsky has had good time against him in a couple of moments just outmuscling him. He needs to work not only on this, but also on his passing play. Being a player who likes to play the puck, he doesn't tend to share it too much with his team mates, a feature that limits him a bit especially while facing opposition's top lines.

Another black mark of his game is his defensive play. He uses his excellent skating to get back in the own zone, but he's way too passive to the points that sometimes it looks like he doesn't know what to do. He tries to get in front of the goalie from time to time, but he's simply ineffective. He also must keep his feet moving more while in the own zone, using more his concentration and remember that the defense isn't something that you can avoid during an hockey match. This is a lesson he has to learn should he get an offer from any North American club.

Throughout the match he was never iced as penalty killer, but he has been iced during the powerplay, especially during the third period, with Severtstal down by one goal after Galimov's marker in the first period. This was a good sign of trust from his coach and he repaid him back: just six minutes to the final horn, after a well-orchestrated rush, his line, which featured also Mikhail Zhukov (Edmonton Oilers) and Mikhail Yakubov (Florida Panthers), kept the ball rolling deep in the zone. The puck went to Zhukov on the half boards, who suddenly shot it towards the net. Lokomotiv's goalie Gelashvili approached the shot but at the last moment Trunev moved the stick, deflecting it in for the 1-1 tie. That was Maxim's second goal of the season after the one scored against Ak Bars Kazan on October 8th.

If he keeps on progressing that way he should beat last season's performance of 4 goals in 32 matches.

Related Player Profiles: . M.Trunev M.Yakubov M.Zhukov
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